Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Cholesterol
Cholesterol is an important type of fat (lipid) that is made by
the body. It is needed for the body to function. It also is found in foods that
are made from animal products (meat and dairy products).
need cholesterol to function. But excess cholesterol in the blood builds
up in blood vessels and may lead to hardening of the arteries
(atherosclerosis), heart disease, and stroke. People who have diabetes are at
higher risk for atherosclerosis.
There are two main
forms of cholesterol:
A person's cholesterol level can be checked with a blood
Current as of:
January 27, 2016
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.